Monday, 18 January 2016

SWAHILI WORD PLAY - Lost in Translation


These days if you are on WhatsApp you would constantly receive pics and clips from everywhere.
Most of the time credits are not given. WhatsApp is not that sort of place. However, let me salute whoever made up these words.
In Swahili there are three different words expressing the process of making and eating rice.
Its not like in English where rice means rice. Cooked, raw, etc, is just rice.
In Swahili you have rice in its farming stage i.e. in a  Paddy-field.

Mpunga
(Mpunga Hupungua)
Then Rice as a raw, ready to cook substance
Mchele
(Mchele Wachelewa)
Then cooked rice, ready to be eaten.
Wali
(Wali Waliwa)

Now ...on top of this add the chicken. It has been said chicken is the most loved meat. I just dont understand the obsession. There are so many varities of birds to relish with rice (turkey, ostrich, guinea foul, duck, etc) ... all as delicious, if not more nutritious.....(Ermmm... if you are meat eating folk )
Now the placard says

CHICKEN ATE RICE AND LATER THAT EVENING WAS EATEN WITH RICE

Translations don't do justice to humour. It is indeed such a cultural angle and is hence: "Lost in translation..."

1 comment:

Rashid Omar said...

Kiswahili is one of the language that have very small vocabularies and yet we want to use it up to our universities. I don't agree with that decision.